Monday, February 26, 2007

Doggerel #62: "Stop Complaining!"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

This is one very diverse piece of doggerel, especially since it also has legitimate uses, such as pointing out a certain kind of fallacy. Contrary to what the woos would have people believe, it's okay to complain about the evils that quacks and con artists do. It's okay to complain about the lack of passion woos have for proving their point. It's okay to complain when someone lies about your point of view. (I'm looking at you, Hollywood!)

When this phrase becomes doggerel can be tricky to define precisely, but it usually accompanies other doggerel. Like "I've got better things to do!" it attempts to trivialize legitimate criticism, rather than address it. One example I'm quite familiar with: An altie keeps touting a personal anecdote, claiming that his experience trumps all epidemiological studies, despite the fact that he performed no controls, blinding, or any effort whatsoever to eliminate his bias. When I bring up those objections, he attempts to trivialize them.


Doggerel Index

1 comment:

Derek said...

No comment of any legitimacy. I just wanted to say that my mom bought one of those Complaint Department grenades once when we were on vacation. She got hassled at the airport when we were about to fly home.

The day of the Oklahoma City bombing.